I’m currently reading A Baker’s Odyssey by Greg Patent, which is an outstanding book that explores the baking traditions of various U. S. immigrants. The book contains a wide range of recipes that I could showcase in this blog. I could have prepared an elegant Gâteau Basque. Or a jaw dropping Hungarian Walnut Torte? However, I chose to make Cornish Splitters, a traditional English batter bread because I’m a bread man. I know it's not a flashy recipe, but I like the alchemy of taking simple, ordinary ingredients – water, flour, yeast, and salt – and morphing them into something complex and extraordinary. I also chose it because the one hour prep time fit well into my busy weeknight schedule, and since the recipe only made 6 rolls, I could experiment without having an excessive surplus of bread on hand.
Pass the jam,
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup whole or low-fat milk, heat until 110 degrees.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl, blend the flour and butter with a wooden spoon until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in yeast, sugar, and hot milk. Beat with spoon until you have a thick batter. Add salt, and beat for 1 or 2 minutes more, until smooth. (Note: The cookbook insisted that I would have a thick batter. I don't know if this stiff mixture technically constitutes a batter. It seemed much to0 thick for me. Shouldn't you be able to pour a batter? I tried to find online references to Cornish Splitters, but I couldn't find any. Maybe the cookbook author is just pulling my chain.)
- Let batter stand uncovered at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while the batter rests. Coat a large baking sheet lightly with cooking spray.
- When the batter is ready, spoon 6 larges gobs onto the prepared pan, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Each gob will be 3 inches across. (It was difficult to spoon gobs because this batter isn't really a batter.)
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until the splitters are pale golden brown and srping back when pressed gently in the center.
- Serve and enjoy
Pass the jam,